Why Are So Many People Dying on Florida Beaches?

Multiple drownings have occurred off Florida’s Gulf Coast in the past week. Reports indicate five to six deaths at Panama City Beach, and eight total in the area.

The cause is strong rip currents. NOAA describes them as localized currents flowing away from the shoreline, sometimes faster than Olympic swimmers.

Despite warnings and lifeguards, people are still entering the water. The Bay County Sheriff’s Office reported tragic deaths, including three young men and a 60-year-old woman.

To survive a rip current, swim parallel to shore or let the current carry you out until it weakens. Don't panic; keep breathing and stay afloat.